Improvement is an essential part of any rebuild. It takes guts to literally tear down a franchise and build it from the bottom up. And Jim Crane, with newly appointed general manager, at the time, Jeff Luhnow, did just that. An Astros team that had finished at least ten games below five-hundred for the third time in four years and an Astros team that also had the worst farm system in baseball, according to Baseball America, needed a change. Needed a new look. Needed to be torn down.
And now, as the 2015 season approaches us, the Astros may actually be entering a season with a good chance of reaching the playoffs. The rebuild of the Houston Astros franchise - and their now stocked farm system - is almost over. Winning is on the horizon. And, why, you may ask? Well, because Jim Crane and Jeff Luhnow have done a terrific job.
Focusing solely on this offseason just past, the front office have done a terrific job. Focusing on the broader picture, the rebuild has been a success. And, at the end of every success story, there are rewards to be reaped. I may be getting horribly ahead of myself but I love it. The team that the Astros front office have assembled is a contending one. The American League West is one of the, if not the, strongest in the game of baseball.
The best bit is, the Astros are almost ready to go toe-to-toe with the Mariners, the Angels and the Athletics. The days of Carlos Correa and Mark Appel aren't even in front us yet, but with the stellar job the front office has done this offseason, they don't need to be. The Astros have a chance this year, a bigger chance the year after, and an even bigger chance the year after that.
So, to cut to the chase; how good of a job has the Astros front office done this offseason? Let's get down to the specifics. The Astros' payroll currently sits at a little over sixty-three-million-dollars, a far cry from the fourty-four-million-dollars at sat at last season - which, for the record, was the lowest payroll in all of baseball. With the additional money spent, there are, of course, plenty of additional players ready to don an Astros uniform for the first time. Here's a list of the additions the front office made. The ones which are likely to make the roster, or make an impact at some stage this season, anyway.
- Evan Gattis
- Luis Valbuena
- Colby Rasmus
- Jed Lowrie
- Hank Conger
- Pat Neshek
- Luke Gregerson
- Dan Straily
- Roberto Hernandez
- Joe Thatcher